I’m Alison James, Professor, National Teaching Fellow, Principal Fellow of the HEA and accredited LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator. I’m a speaker-writer-adviser-workshopper on things HE and an experienced professional coach. In 2020, like most of you, I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time on Zoom running courses, webinars, speaking on play and creativity at events internationally, analysing research data and writing. I’ve also been coaching executives and educators remotely. Thank goodness for comfy chairs. (If any of that interests you, do please click on the links above)
engaging imagination.com gets its name from the book I wrote with Professor Stephen Brookfield Engaging Imagination: Helping Students Become Creative and Reflective Thinkers. Though the book came out in 2014 you can still access information and companion materials for it on this site.
The two first words of its title sum up what perhaps we all aspire to achieve each day, whether it’s in relation to small or large endeavours. They also underpin what I admire in the activities of others and what I try to foster through my own.
Since 2019 something which is absorbing my attention is my funded scholarship for a project I am calling The Value of Play. It is funded by the Imagination Foundation Laboratory and aims to extend understanding of how play-based and playful learning is used in HE, most particularly for the teaching of management concepts and theories. I will be sharing more about my emerging findings shortly but for now you can find out a little more in the links to The Value Of Play and also my earlier blog post here.
This builds on the international edited collection I published with Dr Chrissi Nerantzi The Power of Play: Creativity in Tertiary Learning. It collects over 40 examples of play in higher education internationally and shows that play can be at the heart of advanced learning in almost any context. It was published by Palgrave MacMillan in early 2019 and is available as an e-book and hardcover copy. By December 2019 chapters from our book have been downloaded 13,871 times in 26 countries.
STOP PRESS We are delighted to announce that as of January 2021 the complete book The Power of Play has been downloaded over 23,000 times!